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Statement of Senator Loren Legarda* on the Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan (*Chair, Senate Committee on Climate Change)

March 11, 2011

AS WE SHARE OUR SYMPATHIES WITH THE TSUNAMI VICTIMS IN JAPAN AND THEIR FAMILIES, IT IS WORTH REFLECTING THAT THE PHILIPPINES FACES SIMILAR THREATS.
The increasing frequency and magnitude of earthquakes highlight the need for early action.
Tsunami alerts must be immediately communicated to a population at risk to ensure evacuation.
Yes it is possible for the Philippines to experience a very strong temblor.
The 19 provinces that could be hit by at most one meter tsunami waves between 5pm and 7pm are: Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Quezon, Aurora, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Davao Oriental, and Davao del Sur.
The Metro-Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in 2004 showed that a 7.2 magnitude earthquake could damage 38% of residential buildings.
Such an earthquake could cause 33,500 deaths, additional 18,000 deaths from fire, and 114000 injuries.
We must examine our construction standards, codes and practices before any major earthquake hits Metro-Manila.
“Sa mga mangingsda at mga kanayunan natin sa Eastern Seaboard: Maging alerto sa tsunami.”
“Ito ay malaking along hatid ng malakas na paglindol at pagyanig sa ilalim ng dagat.”
“Ang paglayo ng tubig dagat mula sa dalampasigan ay senyales ng tiyak na parating na tsunami.”
“Ang mga nakatira malapit sa dalampasigang nakaharap sa Pacific Ocean ay dapat lumikas patungo sa mas mataas na lugar.”
“Ano man ang liit ng tsunami, kahit 25 cms ay mapinsala.”
“Ang naganap na tsunami sa Aceh, Indonesia noong Disyembre 2004 ay humigit sa sampung metro ang taas at kumitil ng daan daang libong buhay.”
“Maging mahinahon at maagap.”
“Makinig sa radyo at sa mga may autoridad patungkol sa paglikas o evacuation kung kinakailangan sa inyong kaligtasan.”
The sign is the receding sea water as observed by an 11-year-old British girl who was vacationing with her family in Phuket when the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 struck.
Her entire family evacuated quickly and was saved.
She learned the early warning sign at school.